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Full text of "NightRider"

388

the night, and I ain't seen him, I ain't seen him,- and I come
to you "; or the sound of Mr. Christian's breathing, its harsh-
ness, its inhuman drag and rasp, coming from beyond the
wall that night when he had stood staring at the shadowy,
white door, and had waited vainly for Lucille Christian to
come to him—he could remember the slightest detail of such,
an incident, but he could not torture himself into the old
response that had been the lively truth of that moment
There was only the new numbness, the new isolation.

He was not afraid. He told himself that he was not afraid
He had no intention of letting them catch him. But he was
not afraid of them. If they tried to catch him there would be
trouble. He felt, without ever phrasing it to himself, that that
much, a least, a man owed to himself. The fact that he was
hunted and couldn't show himself to people and had a price
on him, that fact was, he was sure, not the fundamental fact
for him. Even at the time when Willie Proudfit brought him
one of the handbills offering the reward, that fact had not
seemed the fundamental thing. His picture was on the hand-
bill. He knew which photograph it had been made from, one
he had taken, a little while before he was married, to give to
May. They must have had it from the photographer in
Bardsville, Beneath the picture it read: "Two thousand
dollars reward for the capture of Percy Munn, wanted for
murder."

"Hit looks lak they want you bad," Willie Proudfit had
remarked.

"Yes," Mr. Munn had said, "it's a lot of money."

"They got them handbills ever whar. You better keep
lay-en low, Over at Thebes they got 'em all over the settle-
ment, on walls and telephone poles, and lay-en in stores."

"They didn't nail Doctor MacDonald," Mr. Munn told
him. " So it's me. They're bound to nail somebody." Then
the bitterness came into his tone. " And I didn't do it. What-
ever else I've done, I didn't do that. Somebody else did
it-----»

Willie Proudfit nodded.